I don’t want to dress up my cat but about 23,000,000 people in America will dress up their pets, at Halloween, in 2014 and they will spend a record US$350,000,000 in the process.
Halloween is coming on October 31 and as pets are part of the family and as pet owners want to include their pets in the festivities some of them like to dress them up just as they dress up themselves.
Perhaps the most likely people to dress up their pet are people who don’t have human children and treat their cat or dog as a child. I can understand that.
Perhaps the reason why I don’t want to dress up my cat is because although I don’t have a child and although sometimes I can treat my cat as a child, I still recognise that my cat is a cat and I like to respect that simple fact.
In America, Halloween is a big party celebration. It is much bigger than in Europe or the UK. Halloween is interesting because it celebrates the darkness of fear while Christianity celebrates the light of God’s creation.
Bats feature quite strongly in Halloween celebrations. They are regarded with doom but what is interesting is they are frequently in churches and some churches have an obligation to look after them.
It is also interesting that Halloween originates in All Hallows’ Eve which used to be a Christian celebration. Somehow we have turned something Christian and infused with light into something pagan which is infused with darkness and fear but which appears to be more fun!
I have to ask whether cats and dogs like to be dressed up because, as mentioned, we want them to participate in our Halloween celebrations.
I suppose the point is that the celebrations are a totally human creation and therefore we have to conclude that dogs and cats don’t understand it. As they don’t understand it they also won’t understand why clothes are being put on them.
I’m sure that dogs are much more amenable to being dressed up then cats but you might manage to get a cat to wear some clothes for a short while but it probably won’t be worth the effort.
The best clothes for pets at Halloween are those that are easy to put on and take off and which are fastened with Velcro on the front and underneath. It is said that these are less likely to scare your pet because you don’t have to slip the clothes over their head or paws. It a bit strange to state that because the instructions are intended to avoid scaring your pet which implies that putting on clothes might scare your pet at which point the idea of celebrations seem to have been abandoned.
I don’t think putting clothes on your cat will scare him or her. I just think it will be almost impossible and as the motto is we should not force our cat to do anything that she does not want to do then you shouldn’t put clothes on your cat! QED.
The most basic costumes for pets in America cost between $15-$20 (cheap!) but you’d expect to fork out $25 or more if you buy costumes which are licensed from companies like Disney or Marvel comics.
The source for the figures at the beginning of this article is the National Retail Federation (NRF). The costume in the lower photo is by Megan Simpson. The words are all mine.